Ole Miss, State set for two
By By Austin Bishop/EMG Regional Sports Director
May 18, 2002
STARKVILLE The highlight of Friday night's action at Dudy Noble Field was the show put on by one of Mississippi State's team managers.
Sophomore manager Will Howarth of Cleveland, put on a sliding show on the rain-soaked tarp at Polk-DeMent Stadium for about an hour as the Bulldogs and Ole Miss Rebels waited for the game to be called off.
When the word finally came following an hour of steady rain that left the outfield covered in standing water from foul line to foul line Howarth was soaking wet.
The Rebels and Bulldogs will open their important Southeastern Conference West Division baseball series today at 3 p.m. with a doubleheader. Both games will be nine innings. The final game in the three-game set is scheduled for Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
The games are important to both Ole Miss and State as the two teams try to earn spots in the SEC Tournament, which begins next week in Birmingham.
All the Rebels have to do to make the eight-team, double-elimination event is to beat MSU once this weekend. The Bulldogs can lock themselves into the tournament with a sweep of Ole Miss.
MSU could also get in with only two wins, but that would be determined by how the Arkansas-Auburn and Vanderbilt-Tennessee series work out.
Arkansas is currently the eighth team in the hunt with an 11-13 league mark followed by MSU at 11-15 and and Tennessee at 10-17. Ole Miss and Auburn are both at 14-13.
Scheduled to pitch for MSU today are left-hander Paul Maholm (8-3, 3.74) in the opener and Tanner Brock (6-4, 4.44) in the nightcap.
The Rebels will send Pete Montrenes (8-5, 4.78) to the mound in the opener, with freshman Alan Horne (5-1, 4.05) starting the second game.
Montrenes has struggled as of late, going 0-3 with an 8.41 ERA in his last four starts.
Chad Sterbens, who is carrying a 17-game hitting streak into today's doubleheader, is hitting .375. The Rebels are led at the plate by freshman Seth Smith with a .419 average.
The leading hitter for the Bulldogs is Steve Gendron at .349.